For something that is so important for our overall health and well-being, sleep is difficult to come by for many people. If you are like me, sciatic pain in the back makes it very difficult to get a good night's sleep. For the last ten years, I have dealt with this pain by going to a chiropractor and getting steroid shots - expensive steroid shots.
Since I believe that prevention is the best medicine, I decided to look into some sciatica cushions and pillows. The best sciatica cushions help prevent the sciatica from occurring in the first place so, it not only saves me a trip to a doctor, but also vastly improves my sleep.
It took me a few tries to get the right pillow that worked for me. (Check the price of my top pick on Amazon).
The problem with trying to help people with sciatica nerve pain is that it affects people differently. The one constant, however, is that it is difficult to get relief. You will feel pain whether you are lying, sitting, or standing. Every move you make brings a sharp pain with it.
Hopefully in this list we can help you find the best sciatica cushion for you.
Motion Trend Seat Cushion
Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief Knee Pillow
Knee-T DLX Memory Foam Knee Pillow
Ikstar Cervical Contour Bed Pillow
"The Angle" Guaranteed
Recommended by orthopaedic surgeons, this sciatica cushion by Everlasting Comfort Has everything you need to keep the pressure of your sciatic nerve.
Comfort is a big factor when choosing the best sciatica seat cushion. This one is so comfortable, you will want multiples so you can have it at home, at the office, and in your car.
Having a cutout area for the tailbone will keep any pressure from going up to your lower back.
Made from high density memory foam, it won’t collapse after extended use. When you are not sitting on it, the cushion reverts back to its original shape.
One thing to consider is the thickness of the pillow. It will add some height to you while sitting, so keep that in mind if you plan to use this in the car. You may need to adjust your car seat to ride a little lower.
Some memory foam can cause you to overheat. This sciatica cushion is made with a cooling gel memory foam which will actually cool you down.
This is a great sciatica cushion for when the weather is hot. The cooling gel memory foam actually helps cool you down. In addition, this cushion is extremely comfortable.
If you like a firmer memory gel, this is the right choice for you. Not only will it never flatten, but also it does a great job at distributing your weight. Spreading the weight of your body down into the pillow relieves the pressure from your lower back and your sciatic nerve.
The firmness may be a drawback to people who need softer support. In general, however, a sciatica cushion should have some firmness. When they are too soft, they simply don’t offer enough support.
It is up to personal preference whether a cushion is too firm or just right. If you are on the larger side, you will need that firm support.
The U-shaped design promotes good posture by keeping your spine aligned and helping to prevent sciatica from occurring. It is contoured in just the right places to relieve pressure points and keep you comfortable.
Get both balance and support from this comfortable sciatica cushion. Made of antibacterial memory foam and filled with odor resistant charcoal, it will stay fresh and odor free.
Having a seat cushion containing odor-absorbing charcoal has some very obvious benefits. It’s no secret that memory foam seat cushions don’t stay fresh for very long. Luckily, this pillow was designed with that in mind, and it does a great job at staying like new.
It comes with two covers. The outer cover has a breathable, ultrasoft velboa material with a non-slip bottom. The inside layer is water resistant to keep the cushion from becoming damp from sweat or any other moisture.
The contours work great at wrapping around the hips and promoting great posture. With proper posture, you are less likely to have a sciatic nerve pain episode. If you use this cushion on a daily basis, you will see your back health improve.
When you are already suffering from sciatica, use of this cushion does offer some relief. The
cutout groin is beneficial for those who have the sciatic pain radiating into the groin. Having that space keeps the pressure off the groin and evenly distributes it elsewhere.
The handy carrying bag makes this a portable sciatic cushion that can be taken on a trip or to and from the office.
The best sciatica pillows for side sleeping are used in between your legs to keep your legs apart and your back aligned.
Sleeping on your side means that your spine is usually not in alignment. That isn’t a big deal for people who don’t suffer from sciatica. For those who do, it is essential to have a sciatica pillow that keeps the spine aligned and keeps your joints from putting pressure on your sciatic nerve.
When your legs are kept apart by using this wedge pillow, your joints and spine are aligned and your circulation is improved. Both of these things will help prevent sciatica from occurring. If you are already in a sciatic nerve pain episode, this knee pillow will give you enough relief to be able to sleep.
It is firm enough to keep it’s shape but soft enough to be comfortable. The cover is washable, and the memory foam is hypoallergenic.
The only drawback to this type of pillow is that, if you like to flip from side to side, it might not stay in place.
Keeping your knees apart is great for your hips so it helps your sciatica; however, some people also like their ankles kept apart for more comfort. This is where the Knee-T memory foam sciatica pillow comes in handy. It keeps your back and joints aligned and your ankles apart.
Side sleepers with sciatica will love this long-knee pillow. Since it keeps both the knees and ankles apart, it is very comfortable. In addition, it will keep your spine aligned.
The strap is also more than just convenient; it helps keep you asleep when you move around. No more waking up to pick up your pillow and replace it when you flip over onto your other side.
The pillow is thin, so it isn’t too heavy when you are moving around, but it is still thick enough to provide good support. It is made with hypoallergenic memory foam with a soft plush cover for added comfort.
This version of the pillow is made for smaller people. If you are over 6 feet and over 240 pounds, you need to go for the Knee-T Pro.
This sciatica pillow works well for back sleepers, but it is also an excellent choice for side sleepers as well.
It is critical that your neck be at the right level to keep your spine aligned. Many times, when sciatica hits, it’s from sleeping. Your pillow is crucial to preventing sciatica and getting a good night’s sleep.
The contours of this sciatica pillow will keep your head at exactly the right height for your spine to line up with your neck. Thanks to the unique ergonomics of this pillow, your head will be in the right position regardless of your sleep position. It works best for side sleepers since that is the position that tends to cause your head to be too high on the pillow and prevent your back from lining up.
If you sleep on your back, you get the added bonus of a reduction in snoring which also helps you get more rest. Your head will be slightly tilted back with your neck cradled in the contour. This position will keep your throat open and reduce your snoring. I know, this review is about sciatica; however, anything that helps you sleep better will also help you recover faster from sciatica.
The memory foam does a great job of maintaining support without flattening out. You might feel like you have to move your pillow around at night, but that is out of habit. This pillow should stay put since there really is no need to adjust it.
For back sleepers who suffer from sciatica, it is very important to have your legs raised to alleviate pressure on the back. This pillow works wonders in keeping your lower back pain free.
If you are a back sleeper and have sciatica or wish to prevent it from developing, then this sciatica leg pillow will certainly help. When your legs are raised, it removes the pressure around the muscles in your lower back. Reducing that pressure also improves your blood circulation which prevents the muscles from becoming inflamed.
Overall, use of this pillow is a great way to prevent sciatica from ever developing, but it also reduces the pain associated with sciatica if you already have it.
The pillow is firm and keeps your legs in place well. In addition, the cover is soft cotton mixed with bamboo. Bamboo is a wonderful material for pillows since it resists dust mites, mildew, and is hypoallergenic.
The only drawback to this pillow is that you can’t really move around while sleeping. You have to be a dedicated back sleeper to get the most out of this pillow. You may have to train yourself to only sleep on your back.
If you can do that, you will notice a marked difference in how your back feels in the morning. Keeping your legs up mimics some of the stretches that help alleviate sciatic nerve pain.
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and begins from nerve roots in the lumbar spinal cord in the lower back and extends through the buttock area to send nerve endings down the lower limbs.
When inflammation of the muscles surrounding the nerve occurs, it puts pressure on the nerve. That sends sharp pain that radiates around the lower back and down into the leg. Your joints could also be out of alignment and putting pressure on the nerve.
As I mentioned, it is very hard to find relief. There are stretches that can be done that do help, but the only way to eradicate the pain once it starts is to seek medical help. Otherwise, you just have to wait for the swelling to go down and for the pain to work its way out.
That could take days or weeks. In the meantime, your sleep and everyday life are impacted in a very negative way.
Since I discovered sciatic cushions, I have had far fewer episodes of sciatica over the last couple of years. In addition, when I do have the pain, these pillows have helped get me through the day.
There are two types of sciatica pillows. Cushions for sitting and pillows for sleeping.
The most common type are cushions are those that you put on your chair before you sit down. They are meant to relieve the pressure on your lower back. They take pressure off of the sciatic nerve and help ease the pain. Most of our day is spent seated, so it is very beneficial to make sitting as comfortable as possible.
A sleeping sciatic pillow is meant to align the back and keep pressure off of the nerve. Sleep is very important in dealing with sciatic pain. It is also very difficult to get the proper amount of sleep since lying down can be very painful. Using a sciatic pillow will help keep your joints from putting pressure on that nerve, allowing you to get the rest you desperately need.
For sciatic pillows for sitting, you need to find a cushion that will allow you to sit for hours at a desk or in a car.
These pillows will allow you to maintain a neutral posture which will keep your back in alignment and keep stress from building on the pressure points in your lower back.
When you are sitting, the weight of your upper body pushes down and adds significant pressure to your lower back. These pillows will defuse that pressure and spread it out onto the pillow.
The first thing to consider when buying a sciatic pillow is what it is made of. If the material is irritating or makes you sweat, then you aren’t likely to use it often. If you don’t use it, then you won’t receive any of the benefits and will likely see frequent occurrence of your pain.
Sciatic pillows can be made of cotton, memory foam, hemp, polyester, and even wool. If you have allergies, then you should consider a hypoallergenic material like memory foam or wool.
Keep in mind that memory foam can make you sweat, so it’s important to find a memory foam cushion that has a cooling property. Cotton is also a great choice since it doesn’t usually cause you to sweat.
Memory foam is the most common type of sciatica cushion, so you are more likely to find one made from this material than any other.
Many of the seat cushion style sciatica pillows feature a wedge shape with a cutout for the tailbone area.
The wedge slopes from the back down to the legs keeping your back aligned and focusing the pressure down the legs rather than on the lower back. The best sciatica cushions will also slope down to the side, so they are higher in the middle of the cushion. This allows for the pressure from your weight to be more evenly distributed.
Some cushions have a hollowed-out middle allowing for a pressure-free groin area. Some sciatica sufferers experience the pain radiating into the groin, so having that open space can relieve the pressure and reduce the pain.
For sitting, their main purpose is to keep your back aligned so the joints don’t put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Just as with the seat cushions, sciatica pillows for sleeping are usually made with memory foam, cotton, polyester, or wool.
Since you are going to be in contact with the pillow more while sleeping than sitting, it is even more important to make sure the material is right for you.
Memory foam offers the most support, but some types can make you sweat, and that won’t help your sleep. If you have allergies, going with a hypoallergenic material such as wool is important.
The cover of the pillow should be washable and comfortable. If the cover is not removable, make sure the pillow itself can be washed in a machine.
The way you sleep is going to determine the best shape for your sciatica pillow. You need the best pillow to help keep your spine in a straight line.
Since most people sleep on their side, it is very difficult to keep your back aligned. A sciatica pillow should be a wedge shape that goes between your legs, keeping your knees apart and your spine aligned. A pillow for your head should be flat or contoured in the middle so your neck is not higher than your shoulders.
The shape will be unique to whoever is sitting on it since the heat of your body will mold the cushion to your contours. This will help relieve the pressure on your back as it will be absorbed by the cushion.
The tailbone, or coccyx, will be kept free from pressure by a cutout section on the rear of the pillow. When your pillow pushes against your tailbone, it adds pressure and can contribute to your sciatic nerve pain.
Besides minimizing the pressure points when sitting or lying down, these pillows also help increase your circulation. If your sciatica is caused by inflamed muscles, then the increase in blood flow will help to ease the swelling and reduce the pressure on your nerve.
If you are trying to cure your sciatica with a pillow, then you will be disappointed. That’s not what they are designed for. These cushions offer relief once the pain sets in and will allow you to sit for longer periods of time. They also will help you get comfortable in bed while lying down, but they will not eliminate your sciatica.
In my opinion, for best results, you should use these pillows on a daily basis to keep sciatica from happening in the first place. Keeping your joints aligned will minimize the pressure on your nerve. If your sciatica is caused by swelling of the muscles in the lower back, then the increased circulation and reduced pressure points will prevent the occurrence of sciatic nerve pain.
As I previously mentioned, I believe that the best defense against sciatica is to try to prevent it. That includes practicing good habits like stretching and getting enough rest. The easiest way to prevent sciatica is to take care of your back.
Many people are sedentary, and that contributes to developing a bad back and, as we all know, having a bad back can impact your sleep. We also know how much a lack of adequate sleep impacts our overall health. Using a sciatica pillow can work wonders for your back and joints as well as keeping your back healthy.
Take it from somebody who suffers from sciatica. I wish I had gotten one of these pillows years ago as it would have saved me a lot of pain and money. Sciatica is one of the most painful conditions I have had to endure, and it has negatively impacted many areas of my life. If you are reading this, I imagine it has had the same effect on your life.
Focus on getting your back healthy, and your sleep will follow.